GALENA, Ill. — Chestnut Mountain Resort offers a variety of skiing opportunities for all experience levels. 

“We cater to all skiers whether it’s their first time on snow or they’ve been on snow for years,” said Stewart Stoffregen, marketing director at Chestnut Mountain Resort. “We have a nice variety for everybody to experience.” 

The resort plans to be open each year from the day after Thanksgiving until St. Patrick’s Day. 

“Opening day all depends on Mother Nature. It has to be 28 degrees for us to make snow, and right now we’re not seeing that,” Stoffregen said. 

“Maybe we can open during the last week of November,” he said. “We have great snowmaking here. We only need three days to get ready to open once it is cold enough.” 

The resort was first opened in 1959, and it features 122 acres with 59 of those acres available for skiing. 

“Our resort is a little backwards. Our lodge is located at the top of the hill and looks over the Mississippi River,” the marketing director said. “We have 19 trails, ranging from beginner to expert, that are serviced by nine lifts.” 

In addition, skiers and snowboarders also can enjoy Farside, a seven-acre terrain park. 

“It is full of rails and different features. It’s a pretty popular area,” Stoffregen said. 

Group and private ski lessons are available at Chestnut Resort for all ability levels. 

“We have lessons for all levels, from beginners to experts,” the resort spokesman noted. 

From opening day through Dec. 14, all lift tickets are only $15, compared to regular adult lift ticket at $47 for weekends. 

“In January and February, we have Fantastic Friday with discounted rates after 4 p.m.,” Stoffregen reported. “We are open until midnight, and the lift ticket is $25, and for a lift ticket and ski or board rental, it is $40.” 

Kids from grade school through college can take advantage of the Thrasher Thursday specials. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., kids can purchase a lift ticket for $27 or a lift ticket, ski lesson and rental equipment for $45. 

If they only want to ski from 4 to 9 p.m., lift tickets cost $25, and the lift ticket, ski lesson and rental equipment package is $35. 

From 100,000 to 120,000 people are expected to visit Chestnut Mountain Resort this season. 

“This is a full-service resort. We have 120-rooms on site in our lodge,” the marketing director said. “We also have three restaurants — a cafeteria, bar and grill and a fine-dining restaurant, the Sunset Grille.” 

The fun doesn’t end at Chestnut Mountain when winter is over. Summer activities include the Alpine Slide. 

“That’s a cement track that weaves its way down the slopes,” Stoffregen explained. “And we have a miniature golf course and a nine-hole disc golf course.” 

The hiking and biking trails are open for visitors to enjoy. Mountain Bikes also are available for rental, from 8 a.m. until dusk every day. The full day rate is $25 or $10 per hour. 

“We also have the Mississippi Explorer boat that does Eco tours on the weekends,” the resort spokesman said. “It is a 1 1/2-hour tour that includes the backwaters of the Mississippi River, and visitors learn about river lore and have the opportunity to do bird watching.” 

Cruises depart at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

Chestnut Mountain is a popular spot for outdoor weddings. Wedding parties can select from several locations, including the Vista, Sunset Ridge, Grandview Pointe or the outdoor tent site at Sunset Gardens. 

For more information about Chestnut Mountain Resort, visit www.chestnutmtn.com.